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Payson fire fighters take on challenge in memory of first responders to 9/11

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Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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One hundred and ten flights of stairs. That’s thebrdistance 343 heroic firefighters had to travel on Sept. 11, 2001 before losingbrtheir lives in the World Trade Center attacks.

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One hundred and ten flights of stairs in anbrunforgotten effort to save men, women and children who they did not know, butbrwho they had vowed to serve and protect.

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Eighteen years later, the ultimate sacrifice ofbrthese servicemen and women is not forgotten, and is honored in many ways.

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This year on 9/11, the Payson Fire Department, thatbrconsists entirely of volunteers, took it upon themselves to remember thebrvaliant lives lost through climbing 110 flights in a simulation.

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Bart Walker who is a third-generation volunteerbrfirefighter of 36 years, decided to head up the event.

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“I had the thought a couple of weeks before 9/11,brthat I wanted to do something to commemorate the fallen firefighters,” Walkerbrsaid. “I had heard of other challenges fire departments across the country havebrdone. I’d heard of things like, Stephen Siller challenges where firefightersbrrace through a tunnel like he did to reach victims of the attacks. I wanted tobrdo something here.”

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Walker knew with the event being last minute, itbrwould be a challenge to gather people, and a place to do it. Soon, however, thebrevent started to come together.

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“I reached out to Anytime Fitness in Payson, andbrwe were given access to the gym’s stair climbing machines for the time webrneeded them, without having a gym membership,” Walker said. “Six Paysonbrfirefighters including myself were there, and all of us completed thebrchallenge. Most had their 30-pound gear on, and some even had the oxygen maskbrand gear on, adding 30 pounds.”

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At the end of the challenge, Watson said that itbrwas a great event to help people remember the sacrifices made that day.

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“In two years, it will have been 20 years sincebrthe 9/11 attacks,” he said. “The kids in school were not alive when it tookbrplace. It is important that we keep the memory of these brave men and womenbralive for future generations.”

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Watson said he hopes to make this an ongoingbrevent, and invite other departments to participate as well. (Brownbris a Serve Daily contributor.)

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Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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